Emulators VirtualPC is the most talked about wrt Apples. Dog slow on games, USB support questionable. Use it only when you have no other choice. In my case, I’d considered using it to log into the production network at work and run Windows apps in emulation mode. The VPN software my company uses doesn’t work on Macs. In the end, I just kept my windoze laptop around just for work stuff. There’s always some specialty application around that doesn’t have a MacOS version (in my case it’s the VPN software and PowerTab) where an emulator may come in handy. Most switchers I know just keep their PC lying around for just such instances.
Wi-Fi Latching onto a wireless network is a snap on a Mac. I have a D-Link wireless router and cable modem in my house. It took me about a few hours a night over a 1 week period to get my Compaq laptop to recognize the router and get my Dell desktop to talk to the laptop. I got my wife’s iMac with an Airport (Apple’s wi-fi) card and the minute I turned on the Airport card, it found the network. The downside was that at the time, DLink didn’t support OS10.3, so I had to use default setting on the router. No problem, I just shut down all file sharing between boxes. I may have some war drivers or neighbors getting free broadband access, but am otherwise safe. With every Apple unit I bring into the home, wi-fi access is a 2 minute operation. It even works that easily in airports and coffee shops.
File Sharing If your talking about networking between Wintel and Apple units, it can be done although I haven’t done it yet. If your talking about Apple units being able to read .htm(l), .doc, .xls, mp3, mpg and avi, yeah it’s pretty much no problem. I have had problems with avi’s though. I think all need is the right drivers for Quicktime. wmv’s can also be consumed by Macs by going to microsoft.com and downloading the OSX version of Windows Media Player. Same goes with yahoo, MS and AOL instant messengers. My brother lives in Seattle, uses an iMac and we both use AIM to video chat with our iSights. If we want to vid chat with a PC user, we go to YahooIM, although the vid quality really suffers. If I didn’t have MSOffice for Mac, I’d read .doc and .xls with Appleworks. Some of the formatting may get donked in really slicked up word and excel files, but your run of the mill stuff will be perfectly readable. StarOffice, I believe, will handle Office files better than Appleworks and it’s open source and there is an OSX version available. Go to macaddict.com and check out their forums. There’s a ton of info there on native OSX apps and 'nix apps that people are using to get along with the rest of the computing world.
Now for the biggest downsides If you are a gamer, Macs aren’t for you. There are Macheads who swear that with a high end Mac, you can get a really good gaming experience. Bah. The problem is at that end of the spectrum, the hardware cost disparity really start to show up. Also, there are way more games for PC’s than for Macs. The more popular games do eventually come out for Macs and they are done fairly well, but you’re better off gaming on a console or PC.
NP - Trick or Treat, Neighborhood Kids (it took me an hour to post this message what with all the getting up and down to answer the door).